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Packed with adventure, these tours offer inspiring destinations and authentic travel experiences at a reasonable price. Using all kinds of transport and accommodation, we’ll take you off the beaten track to discover the true heart of the people and places you visit.
Travelling in small groups is more flexible and allows us to be less conspicuous: we travel and eat with the local people, stay in smaller, family-run hotels and visit places inaccessible to larger groups.
These fast paced tours move on quickly from place to place and with lots of early starts and long busy days, they’re packed with experiences.
The information below is intended to assist you as you consider your travel options with Explore. In addition to the detailed itinerary each trip has been supported with some useful information to provide you with an overview of your accommodation & meals, all things money, passports, visas, vaccinations, insurance, clothing, personal equipment and much more to help you with your travel preparations.
Each departure date has it's own dedicated trip note, detailing all you need to know about that trip. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.
We have the following different versions of the Inside North Korea trip available at present.
Please select a date:
Accommodation and Meals Expand
Please refer to the tour notes where the single room option availability is detailed on a night by night basis for this tour, and the price for the available nights is detailed on the dates & prices tab by departure date.
For Self-Guided trips the Single Room supplement offers the option of a single room each and is charged per person. The Single Room supplement also applies to the third person in a party of three that will be accommodated in a single room.
Budgeting for your trip Expand
You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the trip price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.
The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide.Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.
Lunch £: 5.00
Dinner £: 6.00 - 10.00
Lunch £: All meals are included whilst in North Korea.
Dinner £: All meals are included whilst in North Korea.
The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.
Bottle of Beer £: 2.00
Water £: 1.50
Area Text: The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has long been seen as an enigma in the West. Since economic reforms began in 1978, opening up the country to foreign investment and allowing for private business, the pace of the move of China from the class struggles of the days of Mao’s Cultural Revolution to today’s economic powerhouse has been staggering. Today, it is the Chinese tourism boom that is astonishing the world – both that of the new middle class of China exploring the world, as well as travel to China, now the third most visited country on the planet, extraordinary given that it was almost impossible for tourists to visit the globe’s most populous country until the late 1970s. Taking into account the huge size of the country and the difficult language barrier, China for the majority of visitors revolves around an organised highlights tour, which is a suitable introduction for most, or an extended backpacking sojourn for the more intrepid travellers. Beijing, the capital, is one of the most populous cities in the world, but still one of the most impermeable for the visitor. Highlights such as Tiananmen Square and the Mao Zedong Mausoleum are rather austere, however, the sprawling Forbidden City, dating back to 1406, is well worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage Site status. In contrast, the hutongs (historic low-rise neighbourhoods of narrow alleys) of the city offer a vastly different experience to that of the massive sights. Often visited next is the famous Great Wall, originally built to protect China from invaders. Constructed from many different materials and in different sections over centuries, the 6,000 kilometres of wall obviously can’t be tackled in a short stay, but most visitors do a small section to get a sense of its grandeur and scale. The city of Xi’an has some fine pagodas and the striking Great Mosque of Xi’an, but it’s clear the biggest tourist attraction is the Terracotta Warriors archaeological site, with 8,000 terracotta warrior sculptures, dating to the 3rd century BC that were only rediscovered in 1974. Nature lovers would not miss the cute pandas at the world famous Chengdu Research Centre, or seeing a section of the Yangtze, China's longest river. Besides the city of Hong Kong, Shanghai is the country’s most outward looking and sophisticated city. A wonderful mix of the old and the futuristic, you can eat dumplings on the street or linger over a degustation menu at one of the city’s fine dining restaurants. Shanghai is also a great place to try the many styles of Chinese cuisine – there’s plenty more for your taste-buds to explore than just Cantonese and if you have time to investigate, there is more to this fascinating country.
Bottle of Beer £: .70
Water £: 0.30
Area Text: Inspired by the militarism and high-blown grandiosity of Stalin and Mao, North Korea, a land almost completely consumed by jagged mountain peaks, fervently waves the flag for one of the most isolated regimes on earth, making it one of the most fascinating places to visit Bordering its closest political ally, Communist China to the north, North Korea is a single party totalitarian regime, united under the Korean Workers’ Party. With restrictions on travel and press freedom, relatively little is known about North Korean society. The state, meanwhile, controls all media and cultural output ensuring that the Juche philosophy, the principle introduced by North Koreas’ founding father, Kim Il-Sung, remains the over-riding factor in shaping the political future. Today, his grandson, Kim Jong-un, who has been ruling North Korea since 2011, appears to be as unwilling as his predecessors to liberalise the regime. The bizarre and all-pervasive cult of personality surrounding the Kim family in effect renders North Korea an absolute monarchy or hereditary dictatorship. Formerly part of the Japanese Empire, the Korean Peninsula was divided between the Soviet Union and the United States in the aftermath of the Second World War, setting the stage for the first major clash of the Cold War. Backed by its ideological allies, North Korea invaded the south in 1950, sparking the bloody three year Korean War, which claimed more than 2 million lives; a ceasefire and stalemate was declared in 1953. Today, North Korea remains one of the most militarised places in the world, boasting an active army of 1.2 million, not to mention a small arsenal of nuclear warheads. Now and then, the regime likes to flex its muscles by testing its long-range strike capabilities with provocative ‘satellite launches’. Travellers can only visit North Korea as part of an organised tour. All foreigners should expect to be accompanied by a state-approved guide when in public places. Military check-points are also common all over the country and you will require permits to pass them. Remember that it is a crime to criticise the government in North Korea and it may be wise to avoid political discussions altogether. For the willing traveller North Korea provides a truly unique experience. From the grandiose monuments of Pyongyang to the stunning mountain scenery of Kumgang, North Korea is full of surprises. Perhaps the biggest surprise being that, in-spite of all of the hardship they undoubtedly endure on a daily basis the North Koreans are an engaging, friendly and hospitable people who have tremendous pride in their country and are very welcoming to all who travel there.
In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.
Major Language: Mandarin
ATM Availability: All major towns.
Credit Card Acceptance: Most major restaurants and stores.
Travellers Cheques: Travellers cheques can be changed in Hong Kong and at the Bank of China in all major cities but only during bank opening hours. Please note this is very time consuming and is not recommended.
Local Currency: Renminbi/Yuan
Recommended Currency for Exchange: Either EUR, USD or GBP.
Where to Exchange: In all towns - your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival. When changing money ask for a receipt so you can change Yuan back into your own currency when leaving China.
Major Language: Korean
ATM Availability: Not available
Credit Card Acceptance: Not accepted
Travellers Cheques: Not available
Local Currency: DPRK: North Korean Won; China Yuan. However, foreigners need either Euros/US Dollars/Chinese Yuan, not North Korean Won.
Recommended Currency for Exchange: Euros or USD are preferred in the DPRK. Please bring cash in small denominations of these currencies, one and two Euro coins are especially useful as this is often the price for postcards, books and drinks. You will not need to convert money into North Korean Won, as Euros or dollars can be used there.
Where to Exchange: It is not possible to change money in DPRK.
Joining your trip Expand
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found on our website at www.explore.co.uk, in the tour specific dates and prices section.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer. For more information please refer to https://www.explore.co.uk/transfers.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer please refer to https://www.explore.co.uk/transfers.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Important Information Expand
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Under 18 immigration guidance
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.
In order to apply for your Chinese visa you will need to submit supporting documents from our local supplier confirming your itinerary and travel arrangements, which we will obtain on your behalf. So that we can provide this for you, and to ensure all local arrangements are in place, we require a copy of your passport no later than 8 weeks before you are due to start your trip. Once we have your passport copy it will take a minimum of 5 working days to process the documents you require and pass them on to you, please be mindful of this when applying for your visa.
Passengers wishing to extend their stay in China should be aware that current visa regulations only allow foreigners to stay in the country for up to 30 days. Please consider this when planning your trip.
All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.
North Korea: North Korean visas will be issued at the Embassy in Beijing at the start of your holiday. Your tour leader will co-ordinate this on your behalf.
In order for Explore to arrange the necessary North Korea visas please return the following to us as soon as possible, and no later than 8 weeks before your tour departs the UK.
1. A filled in copy of the personal and passport information form, sent out in your confirmation pack
2. Clear, colour passport copy - this must be a colour copy, black and white copies cannot be accepted
3. Clear, colour passport photos x2
Please also take 2 passport photographs with you, and 50 Euros for your application fee.
Vaccinations & Protection
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against malaria, infectious hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus and polio. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Travellers may wish to take immunisation against Japanese Encephalitis. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.
You should ensure that you are inoculated against measles, which has broken out in parts of North Korea. We also recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, infectious hepatitis, polio and Japanese encephalitis. Please consult your GP or travel clinic for the latest advise regarding the need to protect against malaria. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.
Preparing for your trip Expand
China has primarily a temperate climate, with a wide spectrum of extremes due to its huge area. Summer months are hot and rainy though in the south the climate is tropical and we can experience rain at any time of the year, often falling in sharp tropical rain-storms which are heavy but short lived. Winter is colder and drier, temperatures in Beijing can be as low as -12c.
North Korea has a temperate climate with distinct seasonal changes. Early Spring is sunny but chilly so bring a warm coat and under clothes. In late Spring light clothing in the day and warm clothing at night is needed. Summer (June to August) is warm weather day and night but bring light raincoat. Autumn has marked variations between day and night so be prepared. Winter (December to February) has clear skies not much snow but biting cold. Additional information and climate charts can be accessed at http://www.explore.co.uk/weather. Seasonal weather patterns can be unpredictable. Up-to-date information on the weather worldwide can be found by following the BBC weather link on this page.
Please note mobile phones and laptops are now permitted to be taken into DPRK. GPS devices are not permitted. Your Tour Leader will be able to offer advice and items can be left securely in Beijing if required.
luggage so don’t overload yourself.
General Information Expand
Electric Supply & Plugs
3 Pin Flat
2 Pin Round
Why choose Explore Expand
We’ve been creating award-winning pioneering adventure holidays for over 30 years, earning the trust of thousands of delighted customers, who feel safe in our hands. Our tour leaders have expert local knowledge and our tours are designed to take you off the beaten track to see the most exotic, inspiring and dramatic places in the world.
- With over 30 years' experience, we are passionate about what we do.
- Pioneering small group adventures, self-guided, private journeys & tailormade holidays.
- Award winning tour leaders who you can trust.
- Responsible travel is and always has been one the driving principles of Explore.
Our adventure holidays are full of exciting things to see and do, exploring in small groups travelling by bus, boat, plane, rickshaw, camel, or any number of unusual forms of transport . Often you will stay in family run hotels and village houses and enjoy authentic local cuisine. In this way, it’s easy to discover the true heart of the people and the place you travel to – and make some new friends along the way. Each tour is uniquely different, so please feel free to browse through our tours to see what may whet your appetite.
When you travel with Explore, you are directly contributing to local economies and helping empower the people you meet. We currently support a range of charities and good causes, including: Toilet Twinning (helping to flush away poverty), Lone Buffalo Foundation (a community project based in Laos providing creative skills for young people), Dekamer ( a turtle rescue centre in Turkey) and Kids Saving the Rainforest (a wildlife rescue centre in Costa Rica supported through the LATA foundation). We also care passionately about the world’s wildlife. We are patrons of the Born Free Organisation and Friends of Conservation.
- The Travel Foundation
Explore are active members and supporters of the Travel Foundation which has established a variety of sustainable tourism projects in destinations and works with industry to improve practice. Visit their website www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk
- Tourism Concern
Explore support the work of Tourism Concern who campaign for fairly and ethically traded tourism, and are part of its Ethical Tour Operator Group www.tourismconcern.org.uk
- For further information on responsible travel go to www.explore.co.uk/ResponsibleTourism/
Know before you go
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice follow the link at www.explore.co.uk/travel-safety
Booking your holiday Expand
You can book your Explore holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected. Explore is a fully bonded tour operator licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and by ABTOT.
The air holiday packages (Tours including flights) that we advertise are ATOL protected, since we hold an Air Travel Organiser's LicenceÂ granted by the Civil Aviation Authority.Â Our ATOL number is ATOL 2595. In addition, As a member of the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), Explore has provided a bond to meet the requirements of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. Please note that packages booked outside the UK are only protected when purchased directly with Explore.
To reserve your place on this tour you will need to check availability on the Explore website or through our dedicated call centre based in the UK where you can. Our tours can fill up quickly so you are advised to book as early as possible. If your chosen date is ‘Available’ or ‘Guaranteed’ we will be able to provisionally hold you a space for up to 48 hours.
For Self-Guided holidays and Private Journeys simply choose your date of travel and let us know so we can confirm all ground services.
The easiest way to confirm your booking is through our website. When you are ready to book, we normally require a 10% non-refundable deposit, but for some holidays this may be more to cover such items as permit fees, internal flights or other non-refundable services. If your travel starts within 60 days of booking, full payment will be required at the time of booking
The price paid for our holidays is no longer subject to change. Once booked and confirmed we will guarantee the price you pay will not increase, whatever the circumstances. You will not be approached to pay fuel surcharges unlike the vast majority of other adventure tour operators. The price guarantee applies to all new bookings departing between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2017.
Have you tried?
Explore Worldwide Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 01577018. Registered office: Nelson House, 55 Victoria Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 7PA